October 8, 2012 Subject:
This is a terrible, nasty story.
The “law”, that is in this case the police agent, the district attorney and the prison director, decide to lock away a convicted criminal in a secret cell. The plot is to plant a double, the police agent, in the gang to destroy them.
The prison director has a hidden solitary cell behind a fake wall in his own office. There they put the criminal after he has served his time! This is presented as an adequate method to fight crime.
If you ever had any doubts that extralegal punishment could be a way of “justice” in a formal democracy, here you have the proof. What is here shown is what happened in the past in military dictatorships all over the world, where prisoners “disappeared”.
The most shocking aspect is that this open violation of human rights is propagated in a country that has a constitution with basic human rights and a system of courts and laws. Nevertheless, this sort of propaganda was possible.
After having seen this you are not astonished any more about Guantanamo, the secret CIA-prisons in Latvia, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Afghanistan and Iraq, and all the torture that happens there. This abuse has an evil basis which seems to be inherent since many decades of political culture in the USA. No wonder that that the School of the Americas trained for decades such methods in the US to “educate” soldiers and police for countries like Guatemala, Honduras, Chile or El Salvador.
Reviewer:Jonnie King -
November 29, 2011 Subject:
GREAT B-LISTER !
I've never been a big fan of Charles Bickford, nor have I ever been a big fan of "dual/twin identity" story lines... but both work out perfectly in this Crime/Melodrama B-Lister.
I won't giveaway the plot, but there's enough of everything you'd want in a film of this genre'.
One of my favorite "utility players" from the 30's-40's is Alan Baxter. Smooth, classy, a tad devious, sometimes sinister, a cold blooded killer, he was everything you'd want in an ensemble cast member. He could also take the lead as he did a number of times.
In Baxter's early years he'd been a stage-trained actor...and, later, in the 40's after his WW II service when movie roles got thin, he reverted back to the stage. Some TV roles came in the 50's & 60's, but his career dimmed. He was diagnosed with cancer in the 70's and passed away from it in 1976 at the Motion Picture Country Home.
But, now back to "Gangs Of New York"...See it, enjoy it, it's a neat movie that packs a lot of B-Movie entertainment into a short period of time...and Bickford's dual role works perfectly to heighten the suspense !
November 22, 2011 Subject:
Entertaining second-feature gangster yarn with a farfetched plot and good cast - with one exception, wooden-faced Alan Baxter. Stars Charles Bickford in a dual role, supported by Ann Dvorak, Harold Huber, Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, Jonathan Hale, Maurice Cass and others. Good production values. A fast-paced, well-structured screenplay has look-alike cop Bickford standing in for a tough gang boss. Yeah, I know it's a stretch, but after all it's only a movie.
The softish complete print has good video and audio. No missing frames.
CAST NOTE: Diminutive Maurice Cass is probably best known for playing Professor Newton in the "Rocky Jones" TV series, several episodes of which are available here as IA.